Math instruction for students with significant intellectual disabilities should include instruction that is grade-aligned to math standards in the area of algebra, geometry, data analysis, numbers and operations, and measurement. Additionally, instruction must also match students’ current skill set and build upon early numeracy skills and concepts over time. Explicit instruction in math skill and concept building, and the use of a story-based math approach can provide students a personally relevant context to learn math. Graphic organizers also provide students a means to organize facts in math and can be used across all grade-levels to teach a wide-variety of math skills. Finally, the use of systematic instruction, specifically a task-analysis, can be used to break-down the steps of the math problem, allowing students to gain mastery of each step in order to become more independent.
Other related MAST modules:
Students with Significant Intellectual Disabilities: Instructional AlignmentJimenez, B. (2011). Students with significant intellectual difficulties: Math education. Modules Addressing Special Education and Teacher Education (MAST). Greenville, NC: East Carolina University. Available from http://mast.ecu.edu/modules/ssid_mc
Browder, D. M., & Grasso, E. (1999). Teaching money skills to individuals with mental retardation: A research review with practical applications. Remedial & Special Education, 20(5), 297-316.
Browder, D. M., Jimenez, B. A., & Trela, K. (2012). Grade-aligned math instruction for secondary students with moderate intellectual disability. Education and Training in Autism and Development Disabilities, 47, 373-388.
Browder, D. M., Spooner, F., Ahlgrim-Delzell, L., Wakeman, S. Y., & Harris, A. (2008). A meta-analysis on teaching mathematics to students with significant cognitive disabilities. Exceptional Children, 74(4), 407-432.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1997. Pub. L. No. 105-117.
Jimenez, B., Browder, D. M., & Saunders, A. (2013). Early numeracy: A skill building math program for students with moderate and severe disabilities. Verona, WI: Attainment Company.
Jorgenson, C. (2005). The least dangerous assumption: A challenge to create a new paradigm. Creating Solutions, 6(3), 1-16. Retrieved from http://www.disabilitysolutions.org/newsletters/files/six/6-3.pdf
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). (2000). Principles and standards for school mathematics. Reston, VA: Author.
Nietupski, J. A., Hamre-Nietupski, S. M., Curtin, S., & Shrikanth, K. (1997). A review of curricular research in severe disabilities from 1976 to 1995 in six selected journals. The Journal of Special Education, 31(1), 36-55.
North Carolina Extended Content Standards. NC standard course of study. Raleigh: Public Schools of North Carolina. Available from http://www.dpi.state.nc.us/curriculum/ncecs
Project MASTERY: Math And Science Teaching that Promotes Clear Expectations and Real Learning Across Years for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities, USDOE Grant No. R324A080014. Charlotte: University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Available from http://education.uncc.edu/access/ProjectMASTERY.htm
Trela, K., Jimenez, B., & Browder, D. M. (2008). Teaching to standards: Math. Verona, WI: Attainment Company.
Web Sources | Description and URL |
Ahlgrim-Delzell, Knight, V. F, Jimenez, B. A., & Agnello, B. A. (2009) |
Research-based practices for creating access to the general curriculum in mathematics for students with significant intellectual disabilities. Prepared for Assessing Special Education Students, State Collaborative on Assessment and Student Standards (ASES-SCASS) Section of the Chief Council of State School Officers. Reviews literature on teaching math to students with disabilities and reviews the literature to date on teaching math to students with significant intellectual disabilities, includes teacher-friendly suggestions for research-based teaching strategies. Available from http://www.ksde.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=oUV9LtYHYdo%3D&tabid=2384&mid=9027 |
General Curriculum Access Grants - Curriculum Summit Materials |
UNC Charlotte. College of Education (2010). 2009 UNC Charlotte Curriculum Summit Materials. General Curriculum Projects. Available from http://education.uncc.edu/access/2009 Curriculum Summit.htm |
Learn NC |
K-12 lesson plans, assessments, and web links, and professional development with some resources reserved for registered North Carolina members. http://www.learnnc.org/lessons/ |
Math Conceptual Model Brochure |
Developed by Project MASTERY at UNC Charlotte, outlining why students with significant intellectual disabilities should learn math, a model for math instruction, and example an example task analysis for teaching math aligned to state standards. Available from http://education.uncc.edu/access/Conceptual Model Brochures.htm |
Math Learning Progressions |
Developed at the 2009 UNC Charlotte NAAC Curriculum Summit, learning progressions were developed as a model of vertically aligned math instruction for students with significant intellectual disabilities. Available from http://education.uncc.edu/access/Learning Progressions.htm |
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics |
The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics is a public voice of mathematics education supporting teachers to ensure equitable mathematics learning of the highest quality for all students through vision, leadership, professional development and research. http://www.nctm.org |
NCTM Illuminations |
Lesson plans and activities aligned to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Standards. Available from http://illuminations.nctm.org/Lessons.aspx |
Work-It-Across: Math Standard |
A model that highlights planning that links to state standards at three levels of symbolic communication. Available from http://education.uncc.edu/access/PDFlinks/2009 Curriculum Summit/Example of Work it Across for a Math Standard-1.13.09.pdf |
Browder, D. M., Ahlgrim-Delzell, L. A., Pugalee, D. K., & Jimenez, B. A. (2006). Enhancing numeracy. In D. Browder & F. Spooner (Eds.), Teaching reading, math, and science to students with significant cognitive disabilities (pp. 63-91). Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing.
Browder, D. M., Spooner, F., Ahlgrim-Delzell, L., Wakeman, S. Y., & Harris, A. (2008). A meta-analysis on teaching mathematics to students with significant cognitive disabilities. Exceptional Children, 74, 407-432.
Jimenez, B. A., Browder, D. M., & Courtade, G. R. (2008). Teaching an algebraic equation to high school students with moderate developmental disabilities. Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, 43(2), 266-274.
Jimenez, B., Courtade, G., & Browder, D. (2013). Six Successful strategies for teaching common core state standards to students with moderate to severe disabilities. Verona, WI: Attainment Company.